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Hand-Held Recordings

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  Indoor Miner  

Fans of uncompromising electronic soundscapes may well be aware of Hand-Held Records via Akatombo, whose 2012 album False Positives was one of my favourite releases last year. Hot on its heels is a release from Cristal (their spelling, not mine) who are made up of R. Donne (Labradford), J. Anthony, and G. Darden.

Homegoing opens with Yolk, which sounds like a tortured artist clutching a violin on a runway, defiantly screeching away as the plane gets ready to take off behind him. Streaming Wisdom, meanwhile, is the sound of a lone surviving orchestra playing a post-apocalyptic soundtrack where each note is stretched out until it is on the verge of snapping. Try playing this one in the car it makes you feel that you and all the other motorists are like ants trying to rush away from the scene of the disaster. A similar stretched out effect is used on the title track, but this time with a touch more beauty. At the risk of sounding glib, it's like Tomita with added heartache.

Elsewhere Mirror finds grinding metallic noises competing against a thunderous backdrop whilst Herrevad is the sound of a stormy Norwegian night where those North Sea waves crash violently over those jagged rocks that have borne witness to so much life (and, alas, death). Homegoing ends with Dead Bird, which builds from a solitary note into a widescreen, sub-titled family drama that tugs on one's emotions.

There are also two additional bonus tracks in 12:12 and Preiure (Pan American Remix), but whilst there's nothing wrong with either track I personally prefer to end my listening with Dead Bird, as this is probably the pick of this fine album as far as I'm concerned. Definitely recommended for those of you who get their thrills from this kind of thing.

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